Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Switching tongues, marrying languages

By Kelly Chung Dawson (China Daily)

17:09, June 03, 2013

Lynn Xu's Debts & Lessons is inspired in part by Meditations. (China Daily)

She is a rare writer who has worked well with both her mother tongue and her adopted language. Kelly Chung Dawson explores the works of Lynn Xu, in New York.

When Lynn Xu was a child, she was diagnosed with a severe allergy to the sun. As a result, she spent long days indoors with her grandmother, pouring over classical Chinese poems. Brimming with evocative images of lonely men on snow-ringed lakes and mountains, the poems made an indelible impression. Through the playful rhythms of an art form known for its meditative images, Xu came to view language and the world in a distinctive manner that shapes her writing even today.

In Debts & Lessons, a collection of poems written in both China and the United States, Xu explores the resonance of connections between lovers, friends and cultures.

Inspired in part by Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the work is as likely to reference the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca as the Chinese writer Gu Cheng.

In honor of the latter, whose work with the "Misty Poets" movement is said to have influenced China's first generation of rock musicians, Xu writes: "Autumn 1981/ I am not born/ But my clothes are blowing in the street/ And through the trees/ Flowing up along the road."

In a poem dedicated to Emily Dickinson, she presents four Chinese characters, all pronounced "ye", strung together to mean: "Night/ Also/ Pages/ Wild."

Raised in Shanghai and the US, Xu began writing creatively in Chinese during high school. Later she won a Fulbright scholarship to write poetry in China, the results of which are included in this collection.

She is currently studying for a PhD in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, through the Jacob K. Javits fellowship.

Although she has worked to retain her Chinese language skills, Xu considers English to be her dominant language.

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

30 romantic sceneries around world

Have a look! Hottest female stars

A visit to pupils in deep mountain area

Nanjing students present fantastic nude painting

Travel guide for Children's Day

Wandering the Shuyuan Gate of Xi'an

Six Chinese cities with best feng shui

Tears and laughters of children's childhood

Childhood games of Chinese early 80's

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:DuMingming、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Mechanized infantry brigade in drill

  2. Navy's sea training taskforce in drill

  3. International Children's Day around world

  4. Photo story: Mask girl's hard life

  5. Oil tank blast causes casualties in NE China

  6. Cute tiger cubs taken under patronage

  7. Xinghua village by the Great Wall

  8. Facial makeup of Peking Opera

  9. Fortune Global Forum to be held in Chengdu

  10. View of Hefei Xinqiao International Airport

Most Popular


  1. Exit from QE in U.S. not to be a problem
  2. Yuan may continue to appreciate
  3. Benefits of Shuanghui's meat deal
  4. News Analysis: No need to pit China against US
  5. China, US should head towards the same direction
  6. Stronger dollar serves as damper on gold prices
  7. Who needs a diploma? just want to marry rich
  8. Acquisition to sharpen Shuanghui's edge
  9. Manipulative kids seek gifts on Children's Day
  10. Japan, India eager to forge closer ties

What’s happening in China

Photo story: Mask girl's hard life

  1. China allocates 110 mln yuan to flood-hit areas
  2. 90 pct Chinese parents support sex education
  3. Unmarried mothers would be fined by new law
  4. Central China colliery blast kills 10
  5. Prostitution site lured half-million